Is This Stealing? –
New stores starting popping up in the Midwestern states called Five Below. Instead of implying a store based around subzero temperatures, the name implies that everything in the store is five dollars or less. So I guess it can be thought of as a high end dollar store…?
Anyway, it is a long story as to why/how I ended up inside this store and I will not bore you with those details. But listen to this:
This fancy dollar store actually had a “Media” section. Besides a couple of shelves of bargain bin DVDs that no one wants, they actually had a small shelf of games. This shelf mostly consisted of old PS2 games, like Dora the Explorer and Iridium Runners, but there were quite a number of PSP games, a now obsolete system. I bought the original Patapon and Innocent Life: A Futuristic Harvest Moon UMD’s, factory sealed (brand new, never opened), for $5 each just as the store name implies. My surprise gaming quest, however, did not end there.
Underneath this shelf of worthless games were actually about 2 dozen Gamecube controllers! Now I know what you are thinking. So what, big deal? Well, these are not some cheap crap 3rd party controllers with bad D-pads and terrible facebuttons. No no. This is a first party official Nintendo created controllers.
The difference is, the packaging does not say Nintendo. Instead, it lists some brand called Bullet Proof. I tried googling it but found nothing.
All first party GC controllers have the official GC logo labeled just above the Start/Pause button. These Bullet Proof controllers do not. But other than that, this is seriously a first party Nintendo controller.
How can this even happen? My guess is Nintendo found a forgotten warehouse full of these controllers and decided to sell them before everyone fully moves on to the Wii U (which does not have support for GC controllers like the original Wii did). Or, some dude went to Gamestop and bought a bunch of used GC controllers, cleaned them off, and repacked them to turn a profit. But for $5, that profit would probably be quite small. Given that Bullet Proof cannot be found online and there is no website listed on the packaging, a number of theories can be hypothesized.
Just to be clear, everything is the same as an official Nintendo controller. From the buttons, to the plastic housing, to how the shoulder buttons work, everything here is the same. This controller even has rumble support. Now, Five Below only had black controllers available so it is unclear if other colors are out there. Also, it is worth pointing out that this is a wired controller; this is no Wavebird.
There is no telling when these controllers will be sold out or removed from store shelves but I advise stopping by and picking up a couple for yourself if you have one of these stores near you. For $5, it is a definitely a worthwhile investment especially if you are planning on keeping your GC or Wii and know about the horrors of 3rd party controllers.
Better Than: paying $20 for a terrible Gamestop branded GC controller
On Par With: other holiday clearance deals you might have found
Wait For It: clearance Wii Remotes